A literary getaway to the poet`s island- Slow Travel destination: Milies.
A mountain village with three inhabitants and an Eco Farm, in the rural area of Plomari region.
Three inhabitants and a hill farm house
Milies is a mountainous settlement in Plomari region, on Lesvos island. Four hundred meters above sea level, Milies maintains its characteristic traditional architecture, revealing its former glory.
In the early 1920s, Milies was ranked among the most populated mountainous villages of the municipality of Gera.
According to the oral history, the village took its name from the huge millstones found in the area, used for grinding grains.
‘’Mylos’’ literally means mill and at the entry of Milies lays a 1,5-meter millstone, as a remembrance of the old oil mill of the settlement.
Situated in a rural area, Milies is surrounded by vineyards and olive trees, with wine & olive production being in old times its residents’ main activity.
It is a very remarkable fact that, nowadays, during the winter, only three inhabitants live in Milies!
The Association for the preservation of the abandoned villages operates from here, collectively work to protect the cultural identity and the traditional architecture in Plomari area.
Travel Slow & Volunteer
Independent travelers from across the globe visit this Slow travel destination and work voluntarily together with locals in restoring hiking trails and paths.
The welcoming atmosphere and the delicate surroundings of Milies allow the traveler to enjoy the simplicity of being and live in the moment.
Gazing at Milies square, next to St.Ioannis church, you may spot ‘’Kafeneio’’ (Coffee place) open and drink a traditional Greek coffee like a local!
Traditional architecture & artistic works
A natural spring is just nearby and is the water supply for Milies’ inhabitants. Make a stop and taste this special freshwater coming out of the mountains, it is safe to drink!
A few steps later you find yourself in front of St.Marina church. Step into the church and you will have the chance to admire the artworks of ‘’Theofilos’’, a folk painter who lived from 1870 to 1934 on Lesvos island.
His artistic works emphasize on Greek folk tradition and history, reflecting the cultural and social values of yesteryear.
Hiking and mountain bike trails & routes
Man-made and natural paths unfold around Milies, offering an abundance of hiking or mountain biking options.
The most popular hiking and mountain biking trails starting from Milies are:
Milies- Paleomylos- Kolymvatera-Toymba-Milies
This circular hiking and mountain biking route of 5,8 kilometers connects Miliies with the Paleomylos and Kolyumvatera traditional settlements.
Get ready and enjoy a magnificent walk among pine forests and fruit trees, along natural springs and chapels.
The hiking time is about 2,5 hours.
Starting from Milies this hiking and mountain biking trail goes uphill to Toumba Eco Farm, crosses Arodafne and Kastelos historical settlements, in a 5 kilometers route.
This circular trekking trail surrounded by olive groves & oaks, offers a two-hour majestic walk on cobblestone paths, along Komper’s Orchids, one of the rarest and most beautiful type orchids!
A literary getaway to the poet`s island
Lesvos has always been a poet`s lovers paradise.
Well-known Greek poets and novelists have been born on the island while others felt in love with Aeolida (an area where the Aeolian Greek city-states were located) from the first sight:
That is why the women in Lesvos had free morals, they were sensual and elegantly dressed and that is why Sappho could be there. It is a tradition that has mysteriously reached our days. I, who grew up in Athens and not in Mytilene, as they say, have this feeling, according to some mysterious law. So, a friend of mine told me that when he reads my poems, he sees Mytilene “.
Odysseus Elytis writes, one of the most important Greek poets, of the twentieth century in the world. In 1979, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Visit Milies and discover the Poet in you
Sapfo is considered the most important Archaic Greek poet of antiquity. Her lyric poetry was written in the Aeolian dialect to be sung accompanied by a lyra(stringed bowed musical instrument).
Plato calls her “wise” and “Tenth Muse”, while ancient commentators claimed that Sappho wrote elegiac and iambic poetry.
Sapho was exiled to Sicily around 600 BCE, due to the social unrest of that times and kept working on her extraordinary poetry works that influenced other writers.
Beyond her poetry, Sapho praised female love. There is a direct relation through the island of Lesvos and the well-known word Lesbian, which etymological comes from her home island ‘’Lesvos’’.
Famous authors & Tériade Museum
The Greek anti-militarist novelist Stratis Myrivilis was born in Sykaminea of Lesvos on June 30, 1892, and stands high on the list with the famous Greek authors been born in Lesvos island.
Nowadays, the Primary School of Sykaminea houses a folklore museum where bedroom objects of Stratis Myrivillis are exhibited and is open to the public to visit.
Last but not least in our list, Tériade had a flourishing life in France, and honored by the French Academy as ” Knight of the Arts”.
Tériade or Stratis Eleftheriades was born in Vareia, Lesvos in 1897 and died in Paris in 1983.
He moved to Paris at the age of fifteen and soon became a successful art critic and art book publisher (VERVE, Cahiers d’Art, and Minotaure magazines).
The documentary ‘’TERIADE’’ refers to his life and in a suburb of Mytilene called Varia, you can visit the Tériade Museum all year round.
How to reach Milies
You can reach Milies by following the rural roads of Gera (Skopelos) or from the main
Mytilene – Plomari road, and by the footbath starting from Trygonas.
Trygonas you may reach by local bus. See the schedules here
For the ultimate Slow Travel experience, Toumpa Eco Farm, within a 15-minute walk from Milies is the ideal spot for your overnight stay. Check it out here!
How to get to Lesvos?
international airport is located just 8 km outside Mytilene and 15 minutes bus ride
with the public transport, you may find yourself in the capital.
Here you can find all time tables of Mytilene City busses, from/to Mytilene` airport.